What are genital warts?
With genital warts, an infection with a virus (HPV) causes warts on and around the genitals. There are different kinds of HPV, the ones that cause cervical cancer have nothing to do with the HPV causing genital warts. The warts can be very bothersome, but are completely harmless.
What are symptoms of genital warts?
- Pink to grey-white warts with a cauliflower-like surface on the penis, scrotum, vagina, labia and/or anus
- Sometimes itching, pain or a burning sensation during sex, urinating or defecating
- The warts are between 1 and 5 millimeter in size
- Small amount of discharge from the vagina and/or urethra
Is genital warts serious and should I see a doctor?
The warts are innocent and will disappear on their own. You can ask the doctor for an intensive treatment when:
- You find the warts very unappealing
The treatment can be:
- Applying a cream or liquid on the warts yourself for several months
- The doctor can freeze, burn or excise the warts
Even if the warts are gone after treatment, you can still be contagious to others. Eventually the virus will leave the body, this can take several years
What can I do about genital warts myself?
- Warn your current bedpartner(s)
- Transmission of genital warts can't always be prevented by using a condom
- Warning former bed partners isn't necessary
- Condom use does diminish the chances for transmission, but can't prevent it completely
How does genital warts affect my body?
Just like other warts, genital warts are caused by a virus, the humane papillomavirus (HPV). Just like other warts, genital warts disappear after sometime on their own, this can take several years. Also, in genital warts, when some warts have disappeared, new ones can keep coming.